Bullying is a crime that has had much publicity of late. That publicity stretches from in the school through to the work place.
Bullying in early life does damage people and that damage will probably never heal throughout adulthood. Sometimes, extremely sadly, the victim's self-esteem and fear may grow to the point where they see no way way forward and suicide is the result.
Victims of bullying may go through adult life always being bullied or with lowered self-esteem and so not realising their their full potential or reap fully the returns from life they would otherwise enjoy and the bully will see victimisation as a way of life and can even end up making it a career choice!
We chose to start the week with New Beginnings by Rebecca Emin because it highlights the effects of bullying on the victim. It tries to address how the victim feels and the spiralling effect but it also endeavours to show that unless the victim does ask for help then no-one can help them.
The next choice was Playground by 50 Cent as it is less usual for a book to reflect on the bully's side of the relationship. In this case it is 'mostly true' and so reflects on how at least one bully came to be so. It has to help to understand both sides of the relationship in bullying - because that is what it is, a relationship.
Both our first two choices reflect on a bully whose family life is severely damaged and need to hit back at life.
Bullying is about power. In it's simplistic form it is nothing more than that and if bullies go unchecked then it becomes their way of life and much of organised crime, including the 'protection' rackets, is a manifestation of this.
Having chosen our first 2 books we have decided to each choose our next 3 to 'complete' the week.
My first is Killer's Daughter by Vivian Oldaker. I have to admit that we both wanted to pick this one so we had to toss a coin. My coin. And I won. This story highlights a few aspects of bullying. The first is the victimisation and intimidation of others brought on by unwarranted rumours. The second is the inability of adults to sometimes acknowledge that there could be acts of bullying going on around them. It also reflects on a bullied person who is not a natural 'victim' but becomes one anyway.
My second choice has to be Crossing The Line by Gillian Phlip. The entire story hinges around a bully who bullies, not because he finds he can take the power, but within his family it is the normal thing to do and he would be less of a person to them if he didn't follow suit.
My third, and final, choice is Black Widow by Jessie Keane as this shows the ultimate in bullying - organised crime with intimidation, violence, protection, murder - entirely about taking and keeping power.